Recently in Fantastic Finds Category

When we first saw the sour cherry tree at God's Little Acre Nursery (located on Almaden Road in San Jose), I thought the fruit was for birds only.  It was the prettiest dwarf tree laden with branches of tiny bright red cherries -- perfect for eating off of the tree or baking in pies.  The owners of the nursery, Phil and his beautiful wife, Dolores, became our friends and we've enjoyed several trips to their gorgeous place to purchase fruit trees and a Silver Dollar Eucalyptus.  If you purchase six or more trees, Phil will give a 10% discount...of course, Naoki could not resist such a deal! 

The ones you see in this cup were a few of the last cherries, before our guests and bird, Lucky, finished them.  We'll have to wait until next Spring for the new harvest.  I wonder how the cherry blossoms will look.

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After an excellent appointment with my midwife's assistant/doula in Menlo Park, my friend and I headed to downtown Los Altos to indulge in something light and sweet at Satura Bakery. If you've not yet been, I highly suggest taking a trip there on a Thursday afternoon. After eating one of the best choux creams in my life, we walked over to the farmers market. This is one of the rare markets that stays open later in the day. We sampled different types of flavorful cherries that were sweet and not the least bit sour, hearty Jersey Brand milk cheeses, super sweet sweet peas, and dark juicy red strawberries. I left with five small, but crisp and sweet, organic white peaches from Kashiwase Farms, organic Spring Hill Farms garlic curds (made from fresh mozzarella), and also one of their pesto jack blocks, melt-in-your-mouth roasted rosemary fingerling potatoes (we ate those there), and a small basket of unusually pointy, but remarkably sweet strawberries!! Oh, and I also purchased five of Satura's choux creams for Naoki -- three vanilla and two green tea flavored. Forgive all of these foodcentric posts. Occupying my mind most of the time is food, house hunting for friends/clients and ourselves, and this baby.
Hello and welcome to my latest obsession...fresh strawberries, dunked in lowfat sour cream, then swiped in light brown sugar! 

I had a colleague share this foodie tip with me recently and internally I scoffed at it.  C'mon the combination sounded to bizarre to be good; however, curiosity got the best of me after my brother said he'd tried and liked this concoction.  So, yesterday after a quick stop at Whole Foods to pick up super ripe organic strawberries (good enough to eat on their own) and tub of sour cream, I ripped open that bag of light brown sugar Naoki was waiting to use for one of his breads (that's his current obsession btw).  Together those three simple ingredients were absolutely delish!!  I had heard that it would have a cheesecake like flavor, which I am not a fan of, but was pleasantly surprised that it was even better!

If you have a chance to try this combo, I would highly recommend it (unless you're lactose intolerant, in which case contact me for the perfect enzyme supplements).

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per strawberry: 29 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 2 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 0 g fiber; 2 mg sodium; 43 mg potassium.

1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

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Product Rave: Poopourri

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This isn't usually the stuff I usually write/blog about, but this tiny bottle of citrus scented magic is truly something I wish I invented!  I came across this product at the hospital giftshop before my exam.  At first, I thought it was a joke and funny enough to purchase as a gag gift for a friend I was planning to meet later for lunch.  If it did work, I wanted to buy one for myself as well.  So I bought two of the smaller bottles and spent a little over $21 for both.

I'll spare everyone on the details, but this stuff works!  3 - 5 squirts/pumps into the bowl prior to handling business and no one is the wiser.  Seriously, I was really impressed and I have a pretty darn good sense of smell.   Using or sharing the bathroom with your colleagues, family, and/or roommates is challenging enough. Traditional air fresheners don't always do the job and sometimes have the worst scent (don't get me started on "garden fresh" sprays), not to mention that a lot of those chemicals that we end up inhaling aren't the best for our health. 

Remember, this is not meant to be sprayed in the air.  The company does make an air freshener call "Royal Flush", but I haven't tried it.  They also have another bowl spray with a different scent (Mandarin, Orange, and Bergamot with hints of Peach and Berry) called "No.2...hilarious.  Poo-pourri is made of a blend of essential oils and comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.

I'm not affiliated with the company in any way, just a happy consumer.

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omurice.JPG This is "omurice" (Japanese-style omelette rice topped with demiglace sauce) from Clover Bakery in San Jose.

Last night I found two teabags of my favorite organic mulberry tea and enjoyed it alongside my pastries filled with spicy fish roe (mentaiko) this afternoon. The flavors brought back memories of our travels to Taiwan and Japan two years ago. Taipei is where I purchased this wonderful tea. Naoki and I often ate Japanese style pastries/bread while we were running around Japan hosting presentations and promoting our business.

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I'm so excited about the opening of Nijiya here in San Jose! It will be the closest market to us that sells locally grown, organic produce, Japanese/Asian food items, delicious cooked lunch box sets, and yummy desserts!! We've been traveling to the Mountain View location to purchase their special organic brown rice and to Mitsuwa off of Saratoga Avenue to find other ingredients. This is so much more convenient.

Hopefully there will be other wonderful retail stores and restaurants that come to San Jose's Japantown!

Daiso in Daly City

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A blurry pic taken with my cellphone. It was so cold, I couldn't stop shaking long enough to get a clear shot.

One of the best places to visit while in Japan are the 100 yen shops! These stores blow away any of the $1 stores that I've visited in the U.S. They have everything from accessories, kitchenware, specialty gadgets, cute stationary, and so much more. I love the ceramic dishes they sell. They range from simple coffee mugs to beautiful glazed pottery.

Well for the longest time, we've had stores such as Kyun offering merchandise from these 100 yen shops at a small elevated price (to cover the cost of shipping, etc.). The one that we used to visit in Milpitas is no longer there; however, Daiso, a large chain from Japan has opened a huge store in Daly City. Their grand opening was in December 2006 and from what I've heard, it was a big success. They plan on expanding throughout the Bay Area and currently have locations in Seattle and other parts of the U.S.

Our friend, Nobuyo, a skilled interior designer, helped in designing the interior of the Daly City store (which was formerly a Good Guys). She and her company did an amazing job of placing everything, right down to the snack area positioned next to the cash register...dangerous :)

Another friend of ours who owns a successful Japanese restaurant in Monterey selects, purchases and ships most of his tableware and settings from the 100 yen shops while in Japan. The cost is less than what you'd find at IKEA and their prices are phenomenally low!

Most of the items at Daiso are $1.50 unless otherwise marked. Nothing that I've seen goes beyond $5. It's recommended to use one of their tiny shopping carts unless you're on a budget, then I'd suggest a basket. It's just too easy to go crazy in there. I was tempted to buy several of the cute vitamin holders and may go back soon to buy and use them in a promotion.

Please visit this store if you have a chance. It's across from Serramonte shopping center and accessible via 280.

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This weird, but interesting looking citron is called a "Buddha's Hand" and was purchased at today's farmers market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. It's scent is similar to a Meyers lemon, but more intense and slightly sweeter. I brought one home to show Naoki, since he has an interest in photographing strange things (you'll probably see it on his blog later)

Along with my buddha's hand lemon, I picked up one "pain epi" wheat bread (it's shaped like a stalk of wheat) at Acme Bread Company, and two organic oranges to make cranberry/orange relish. While walking back to the office, I broke my bread in half to share with someone on the street and stashed the other half in my bag containing the buddha's hand. The aroma of the fresh baked bread and citrus together created a wonderful smell!

The best part of eating that bread this evening was the light lemon taste it took on from the oils in the citron. It was perfect alone, though I did eat it with a small piece of pepper jack.

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Westfield has really outdone itself and created an amazing shopping center in downtown San Francisco. The interior of the mall is beautiful with all the glass letting in natural light, especially through the glass dome preserved from the original building. It really did take my breath (and a good portion of my savings) away!

My good friend, Michelle, remarked that it reminded her of the malls in asia, specifically Korea (South, of course). After having the chance to visit it myself, I absolutely agree. In Taiwan and Japan, many of the higher end designers have boutique/stores within the center and the casual or less pricey shops are on the street, such as Gap, Benetton, etc.

So far I've checked out Mango (from Spain), Zara (from Italy), Juicy Couture (from England), Aldo, Adidas (they have the Stella McCartney line in stock), Bloomingdales, and a variety of the eateries. I did a little dance (internally) when I found out they would have a Beard Papa cream puff shop set up there. They have the tastiest shu creams filled with fresh custard cream flavored with Madagascar vanilla...yum!

Tomorrow, I may head over there with friends to hit the Dior cosmetic counter. The manager invited us to get makeovers. Everyone at the that particular counter was extremely nice without being pushy. She was most helpful in assisting me with finding the perfect birthday gift for two of my friends. I can't say what it was, as they may be reading this... Anyway, the Dior department is offering a sweet gift bag and makeover with a two item purchase. It's way too easy to go crazy, so I'll need to decide before heading there.

Whenever we plan on going shopping, window or otherwise, we usually try to fit time in to eat first then walk off the meal as we peruse the different shops. Moving after a eating aids in digestion, helps us fight off the grogginess that sometimes accompanies a carb-laden meal, and gets our circulation going. If I'm shopping for clothes on that particular day, I'll also refrain from overeating, as trying to squeeze myself into an outfit is an uncomfortable experience. Taking a two enzyme tablets prior to eating has helped speed up the breakdown of foods which I also find very helpful!

Can you imagine how gorgeous this place will be during the holidays?

* 100% Pure Organic Blackberry Honey from Oregon. - My dear friend introduced us to the best honey that makes everything you put it in tastes dreamy! That's not an exaggeration either. She is also able to get other wonderful natural bee products like propolis and royal jelly from the same beekeeper. Honey is currently on hand, so if you'd like to make a purchase let me know.

* All Natural Gelatin-free Gummy Bear Snacks - These contain a blend of freeze-dried fruits and veggies, along with other added essential nutrients. (No colors, fillers or preservatives) They are so tasty, I find them hard to resist eating by the handful.

* Natural and Super Fresh Tasting Japanese Green Tea - Brewed hot or cold, this is honestly the best green tea I've ever had. Most of the tea we buy at the supermarket has been sitting forever on the shelves or have been overprocessed. This tea is actually green and makes the perfect substitute to coffee in the morning. Does contain caffeine, but does not cause the jitters like coffee.

* Travel size Aloe Gel
- Oftentimes most aloe products do not contain the active ingredients that fresh aloe does. This easy to carry gel is soothing to burns, cuts, and irritations. The healing ingredient of aloe has been stabilized in this product. Sunburns, papercuts, scrapes and bug bites are a few of the things we use this get on.

* Preservative/Paraben-Free Skincare - This line will launch in the U.S. in March of 2007; however, we are able to have our family ship it to us from Japan. It isn't anything like what is currently on the market and the results are remarkable! Did I mention I love the eye cream?

Please contact me directly via email at jeanette337 at gmail.com

Constructing the Dream Board

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I'm adding this pic to my dream board. Just looking at it makes me happy. It will have a special designated place in my future home. I will suspend it from the ceiling and it will swing! There are also really cool egg shaped chairs that have sound systems built into them. A couch version would be lovely too.

I'll post a picture of my completed dream board when it's finished. Stay tuned...

The quest for fixing those cottage cheese thighs, stomachs and arms just got a little easier. As one client stated, even with all the exercise and dieting we do, the curse of cellulite still clings to us after the weight has been dropped and the muscles are toned.

After spending an enlightening few hours at a local medical spa and seeing the results on my friend who volunteered to be the guinea pig, I was amazed! She had agreed to try one 30 minute treatment on her face and neck. The esthetician used a machine (will find out the name of it and post it here later), applied a gel pack to my friend's back, then proceeded to mix a blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and medications into a bowl that she transferred to an applicator which was connected to the same machine. She then adjusted the frequency of the machine to a level comfortable to her guinea pig (my friend) and used the device to massage the gel into the face and neck area.

After the treatment, the skin was visibly more taut and toned. Like exercise, a series of treatments followed by a few follow up treatments are recommended. If you research the term "mesotherapy" there a number of remarkable before and after pictures. The spa we visited did not use needles and incorporated a non-invasive procedure .

Going forward I will recommend my clients who are following the low-glycemic weightloss program to try mesotherapy to help see further improvements in skin tone and texture.

Here's the info on the medi-spa we visited -

About Beauty Medi-Skin Spa
2910 Stevens Creek Blvd, Ste. 205
San Jose, CA 95128
408.557.8188

http://www.AboutBeautySpa.com

Tell Emma, Jeanette sent you for a referral discount. (I don't receive any compensation other than the happiness of seeing people become happier with their bodies and health.)

Jeanette Lee Hada

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